Sunday 19 September 2010

How I teach conflict resolution

Roundabout a year ago, I realized that I needed to have a strategy to deal with those most annoying of sibling interactions - the arguments and the fights. What I didn't realize is just how annoying they would become. Some days it seems that all Ads and Y have to do is get within six feet of each other and a battle begins. In most cases, Y is the trigger. She will voluntarily give Ads one of her possessions and a few seconds later, demand it back. When he refuses, she protests - loudly. She will ignore her new cycle and when Ads starts pedalling on it, she suddenly develops an immense interest in it. Sometimes, Ads, in his role of the typical elder brother, will irritate Y just for the heck of it.
My strategy (if you can call it that) is to completely ignore them. Yeah, go ahead and laugh.............There is a method to my laziness! In fact, it is a deeply thought-out parenting tactic, designed to help my children negotiate the slippery territory of inter-personal relations, sibling rivalry and conflict resolution. They know that amma won't coming running every time they have a dispute, so they just have to work it out on their own. Believe me, it works! Ads' school in the US used to have a peace table. Kids who are arguing about something are made to sit there and arrive at a solution all by themselves. It is an awesome concept. Hmm....I should have a peace table installed in my home too!
A very, very neat idea one of my friends gave me was to grab a camera and start filming if the kids throw a tantrum or fight among themselves, and if the whole messy and loud situation shows no sign of abating. It always works - Ads for one shuts up INSTANTLY because he can't bear to see himself sad or upset on camera. The bonus is that the home video provides a ready stock of amusement when you need it :)


  1. Great ideas there.. My kids are 5 and 2.5 - I have been trying the first one, but find it sooo difficult to not interfere and give a few pearls of wisdom :). Second one sounds very interesting - will surely try it out soon!

  2. Hey adventurous mommy
    First things first -- the pix of your kids is really too adorable to be described in words. Guess it was taken in a moment of sibling revelry rather than rivalry. ;-)
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and reading, and commenting :-)
    And wow this is a great idea -- my boy's a tantrum king -- will use the camera idea, thanks to you and the friend who suggested it.
    I guess i make up for my son's lack of siblings by almost being one -- and boy! Do i need a peace table. Will read more of your posts in days to come (and when boss isn't peering into my comp!)


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